Rather than make a ‘Worst Films’ list, it seemed more prudent to make a film about the most disappointing. I didn’t go out and see Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 or Hot Tub Time Machine 2 or Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, so it wouldn’t make sense for me to say that I truly saw the worst movies. What I can say, however, is that I saw the films that were SUPPOSED to be good and failed. Here are some selections of the films that attempted to be high quality, and were not.
There will also be a Top 5 Overrated and Top 5 Underrated Films List, and the Top 25 Best Films of the Year, once I can see The Hateful Eight and The Revenant.
Honorable Mentions: Aloha, By the Sea, Chappie, Accidental Love, and Seventh Son
- Aloha was a Cameron Crowe film with some of the biggest stars in Hollywood. The issue, although the film is occasionally enjoyable, is that the writing is such a mess, and never comes together as it should.
- By the Sea is a similar phenomenon. A high-concept, dissolution of marriage film from Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt could be really excellent. In fact, I thought the trailers made it seem pretty heartbreaking, but the movie, was pretentious garbage.
- Chappie was just a monumental failure. I’m surprised there are 10 more on this list that qualify as more of a disappointment. I suppose it’s party because of how disastrous the ad campaign was, there never was true excitement for it anyone. Let’s hope for a Neill Blomkamp?
- Accidental Love and Seventh Son would both be too easy. They aren’t even completed movies. Boy, BOY are they bad though.
It’s not that Antoine Fuqua’s Southpaw was a horrible movie, because it wasn’t, but it ends up on the disappointing list for two main reasons. The first is that the opening act of the film, when we see Rachel McAdams’s performance alongside Jake Gyllenhaal’s, is really, really good. It’s emotional, and clearly on the way to be a very good sports drama. Then, the quality dips. After it becomes focused on him winning his kid back, and Forest Whitaker (the second reason by himself, he’s awful in this) is introduced as a primary character, it falls back into so many cliches, wasting an Oscar-caliber performance from Gyllenhaal. The mixed reviews are very fair, but it could’ve been so much more.
#9. Jupiter Ascending
Yes, our third bad science fiction film on the list, this one a campy, CGI dependent, poorly acted mess from the Wachowski’s. The attempt at crafting a solid world with a strong female character in Mila Kunis, good sidekick in Channing Tatum, and good villain in Eddie Redmayne was, on paper, a chance to be a cult hit in the science fiction community. Instead, we got an overacted disaster with tons of re-shoots and shoddy effects that stopped the world from truly being realized in the way it was originally envisioned. There’s props to trying to create something like this, but like Tomorrowland (a film that barely missed this list), it never quite got from page to screen.
#8. Sinister 2
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. The best horror film of 2012 needed a sequel to make money, and boy was it AWFUL. There wasn’t a single scary scene, the snuff films were over-used, super exaggerated, and unrealistic, the demon became too familiar to be scary, and there was tons of poor child acting. It’s a frustrating experience to watch one of your favorite films be ruined by a sequel, and it happened here.
#7. The Green Inferno
I didn’t read the warning signs, and instead went to see this out of curiosity, in the hope that the ad campaign was being truthful in blaming the production issues on it being ‘too scary’ or ‘too boundary-pushing.’ It’s not, it’s just another offensive, gory, mindless load of shit from ‘horror maestro’ Eli Roth. Don’t you have to be proficient to be a maestro? Spoiler alert, the natives kill a lot of the teens, one girl survives, and still feels bad for their cause.
This one isn’t a bad movie, it’s just poorly paced and pulls too many punches. The desired effect should be really thinking about how bad it would be to watch these players crumble in their later years. It should be about showing the emotional pain and the quest to change it, but it instead gets bogged down in too many supporting players, a romance that doesn’t work, and conflicting tones about what kind of film they wanted to make. As a huge football fan, this one should’ve stood out this year, it really didn’t.
#5. The Good Dinosaur
What Pixar movie about dinosaurs doesn’t put a lot of dinosaurs in it? It’s idiotic to not capitalize on that, and The Good Dinosaur ends up being a wasted effort on Pixar’s part, partially because of the lack of good characters, and partially because we couldn’t truly become immersed in the environment. And the main dinosaur, Arlo, is the most fucking annoying little prick in Pixar history. I HATED this movie.
Again, Spectre wasn’t horrible. I said that in my review. Lea Seydoux is great, and it’s nice to watch the era continue with Daniel Craig, but it’s obvious that Spectre attempted to do something far beyond the others with the creation of an overarching villain, and it didn’t really work. Christoph Waltz was pretty underused, and outside of a few action scenes, it just borrows too much from the Bond formula and ends up being a mess in the actual writing and story-lines. Considering I gave 5 to Skyfall and 4.5 to Casino Royale, this really was more of Quantum of Solace than the other two.
#3. Dark Places
From the writer of Gone Girl comes her second thriller, starring three overrated actors: Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, and Chloe Grace Moretz. The product is a straight to VOD release that continued to creep down in terms of both reviews and theatrical release. It was just an extremely problematic production, there was none of the crisp cinematography or dark humor of Gone Girl and the sad truth was that Dark Places was a really poorly crafted film. It’s one of the worst of the year, and it comes from a place and novel of integrity.
Is anyone surprised this is on here? Anyone? The dream of having Josh Trank use up and coming stars to make a dark, thrilling new reboot of Fantastic Four had me very excited. Seriously, I loved the trailers, and then you heard about how awful the production was, how it went back into re-shooting, how Trank hated the corporate pressure, and how FOX really only wanted this to retain the rights to the series. The first act is mediocre, the second two acts really are atrociously bad. This is a really sad excuse for a reboot.
#1. Crimson Peak
The idea behind this film truly is amazing. When the trailer first came out, I was blown away, and instantly became one of my most anticipated films of the entire year. Jessica Chastain is a powerhouse actress, and Guillermo Del Toro created one of my favorite films in Pan’s Labyrinth. The hope is that it would be a beautifully shot, scary, obsessive, creepy film that takes place in this ghostly, serene environment, and it ended up being a poorly acted costume, period-piece romance. It was really, really disappointing. The script even had the gall to say “this isn’t a ghost story, it’s a story with ghosts in it.” FuuuuUUUUUUCCCKkkk YOU!